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China details plans for own orbital space station

BEIJING (AFP) – China will attempt its first space docking between two unmanned vehicles this year, the first step in efforts to build a Chinese space station, a senior official said Friday. Yang Liwei detailed the next stages of China’s human spaceflight programme during a press visit to Space City…

Microsoft posts $5.23 billion net profit

SAN FRANCISCO — US software giant Microsoft beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts on Thursday despite the weak market for personal computers. The Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said net profit rose 31 percent to $5.23 billion in the third quarter of its fiscal year while revenue increased 13 percent to…

Rising divorce rates a sign of economic recovery

WASHINGTON — A telltale sign of US economic recovery: the divorce rate is on the rise, after falling sharply in 2008 and 2009. “People were afraid they were going to lose their jobs so they were very cautious about getting a divorce because you have to split your assets,” said…

Pork that ‘glows,’ beans with cancer chems among China’s latest poison foods

BEIJING (AFP) – A wave of tainted-food scares has renewed fears in China over continued product-safety problems despite a government promise to clean up the food industry following a deadly 2008 milk scandal. Tainted pork, toxic milk, dyed buns and other dodgy foods have surfaced in recent weeks, sickening consumers…

Supreme Court rules that companies can block class-action lawsuits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday handed businesses such as AT&T Inc a major victory by upholding the use of arbitration for customer disputes rather than allowing claims to be brought together as a group. By a 5-4 vote, the high court ruled that an AT&T unit…

Sony working with police on PlayStation hack

TOKYO (AFP) – Sony said it was working with investigators after hackers stole data from users of its PlayStation Network, and told customers it would restore services only when it was confident it was secure. The PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were turned off on April 20 in…

Ex-workers say American Apparel posted their nude photos online

NEW YORK – A woman who accused American Apparel Inc chief executive Dov Charney of keeping her as a teenage sex slave is now suing him and his clothing retailer for defamation. In the complaint, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the former American Apparel saleswoman and two other…

Federal Reserve plans to end stimulus, but leaves door open for more giveaways

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday signaled it is ready to scale back support for the US economy, despite what it called a “moderate” recovery. Hinting at a second attempt to edge back from crisis-era policies, the Fed said it would complete hundreds of billions of dollars of…

U.S. Senator goes after Sony over massive PlayStation Network hack

In the wake of a massive data breach that saw PlayStation Network subscribers’ information stolen by unknown hackers, Sony Computer Entertainment has been scrambling restore their online gaming service — but getting it back online may not be enough, if one U.S. Senator’s demands are to be taken seriously. Responding…

Furor at Sony after hackers steal Playstation user data

TOKYO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sony Corp warned that hackers had stolen names, addresses and possibly credit card details from the 77 million user accounts of its video game online network, in one of the largest Internet security break-ins ever. The Japanese electronic giant pulled the plug on the network on…

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